- What is eloping?
According to the dictionary, to elope means “to run away secretly with the intention of getting married, usually without parental consent”. So all those couples who get married without making a public announcement are technically eloping! Fact 2 and 3 will give you a better idea of why couples choose to do it.
- Why do people do it?
In some societies around the world, for instance in South Asia and the Middle East, marriages are arranged by families of the bride and groom. Couples who fall in love and want to marry each other are seen as breaking a social code. They find it difficult to get consent from their parents. To fulfil dreams of marrying their loved ones, they elope.
- The dangers
While eloping might seem romantic and adventurous, it doesn’t always end in a happily-ever-after scenario. Relatives, friends and acquaintances of the eloped couple might seek revenge after they find out about the elopement. Some of these cases can even end in honour killings, where the bride and/or the groom get murdered for having brought dishonour to their families or communities.
- Dodging the wedding
Studies suggest that more and more couples in the West are eloping because they want to avoid wedding stress. Either they don’t want to have a big, expensive wedding or they want to just have a private moment with their loved ones instead of having to entertain guests all day. Some couples even get away because they want to have a ‘creative’ wedding day.
- An eloping festival
And as unbelievable as it sounds, there’s a festival in India that celebrates eloping! Every spring thousands of couples from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh gather to find their prospective partners and elope! Some say the custom began as a form of protest against the demand of expensive dowries from the bride’s families. For all the odd reasons, aren’t you wondering if you could join?!
Gayatri Parameswaran is a multi-award winning writer, director and producer of immersive media works. She was born and raised in India and is currently based in Berlin, where she co-founded NowHere Media - a storytelling studio that views contemporary issues through a critical lens. She also edited the Love Matters website in its initial years. Check out more about her here.
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